Marriage

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity (in-laws and other family through marriage). The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but also throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but typically it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity.

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I am sorry to hear about your situation. It is normal to re-evaluate how a marriage is going after 7 or 8 years and see if it is functioning well.

Life is (somewhat) about choices. If the marriage isn't working for you, Islamically speaking, the first step is to try to make it work (for instance, as mentioned, through communication or a marriage counselor, if he is willing). That said, it requires the interest and commitment of both people in a marriage for things to change.

If he isn't interested in changing, then you need to decide what you want for your own life and future, and whether to accept the situation as it is or to try to move on  (obviously, taking into account all factors, such as how the relationship is otherwise, financial matters, whether you have children and what you feel would be best for them, etc). While divorce is discouraged in Islam, and, statistically speaking, women tend to suffer more than men (financially and emotionally) after divorce, it is also not good to harm yourself or stunt your growth and potential if there is no greater good behind it.

This is ultimately a decision that you would have to make for yourself since no one is in your shoes and can fully understand your situation, especially if depression is a factor. 

I would suggest in any case - and I hope I am not overstepping my boundaries - that regardless of whether or not separation might be in the future, it is always healthy to have friends and associates who can be a safety net in a time of crisis. This is true both for yourself as an individual, but also for the family, as we never know what will happen - what if he were to suddenly be in a coma or something? If there is any way to make friendships, even online, it would be helpful not only psychologically but also on a practical level. 

(Indeed, in the current world situation, many of us are discovering the value of having a safety net.)

I would also point out as tactfully as possible that, oftentimes, when someone is extremely suspicious and untrusting, it is because they have things to hide, or else they have behaved questionably in the past. Otherwise, normal people are not usually extremely suspicious or untrusting. I am just putting that out there, and that may not at all be the case in your situation. It is just an observation about human psychology. 

Life sometimes doesn't have easy answers but prayer for guidance is also always a good start. 

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

Trust is an important factor between spouses and without it, the relationship can become very damaged. Have you tried asking him why he doesn't trust you? If you haven't done anything for him to act this way then he could be overly paranoid based on his own insecurities.  Also he cannot unjustly control you such as preventing you from having believing female friends.

Try to be open with him and mention the damage this is doing. If you have already tried this or it doesn't work, try to get a trusted believer who can mediate or a trusted alim who is experienced in martial disputes to speak to you both or arrange a session. 

May Allah grant you success 

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Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been... Answered 1 month ago

Did your husband get into the marriage willingly or unwillingly? If he was pressured into the marriage and was not naturally inclined towards it, then this will have a major impact on whether he wants to show love and affection. Also, what was his upbringing? Was he raised in a household that does not show love or affection? Was he neglected emotionally as a child? Also, what are his family's ideas on marriage? Is it just a formality where everybody plays their role? Is your marriage based upon friendship? I.e. are both of you friends and allies? Do you have conversations with each other? Are you from different cultures and have different understandings about Islam? Have you spoken to him about how you notice that he does not demonstrate love or affection, and asked him why that is? 

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Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been... Answered 1 month ago

Islamically, a marriage is not valid if you have not voluntarily given your consent. The legitimacy of forced marriage is not recognised in Islam; rather you have undergone an injustice for which you are entitled to hold accountable those that forced you into the marriage. If you are not in a position to hold them accountable in this life, you will be able to do that in the next life, at the time of the settling of accounts. The Holy Prophet (s) said that in the next world 'you will be with those that you love.'  

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I am sorry to hear about your difficulties (or the difficulties of the person you are asking on behalf of).

To add to the below response, I find that marriages tend to work out best when the husband and wife feel they can talk openly to each other about their lives without feeling they have to keep secrets. It can be difficult to build a deep relationship when there are big parts of one's life one feels that one can't discuss.

At the same time, real life being what it is, sometimes it doesn't work out to share some things and sometimes one person will use them against the other if they are not entirely of good character. I can also understand not wanting to open up about something personal or sensitive to the whole family and having them weigh in on it or talk about it with each other.

Anyway, there is no shame (or at least there should be no shame) in mental health conditions, just as, indeed, there is often no shame in the other things that people, often women, feel compelled to keep secret for social reasons. 

I do agree however that when a person finds out something later, oftentimes the reaction is worse because they feel deceived and that it is a betrayal of trust.

But you have to make whatever decision is best - perhaps consider doing istikhara about sharing it, if you are genuinely unsure?

Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. At the moment, Shii law does not consider mental health as an issue that would annul a marriage contract. However, considering the fact that marriage in the modern world is a major decision for both parties it would be wise to not hide such issues as they will inevitably come up during the course of a persons marriage at which stage your partner may feel hard done by. Especially if it is something you are not entirely over. With these situations it is helpful to put yourself in the other party's shoes and treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.

May you always be successful.

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 month ago

Bismihi ta'ala

Hugging in this kind of scenario would somehow entail emotional attraction, and a person of piety who observes the highest level of devotion to the Almighty does not want to engage in anything that would lead to haram or anything of that sort. 

So, if both have decided they wish to get married, they should not delay the procedures for their Nikah ceremony, and after that they will be mahram to each other.

And Allah knows best. 

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 month ago

Bismihi ta'ala

This question is similar to many other fiqhi questions, where one would need to refer to his/her Marja' taqleed. 

That being said, according to the view of most of our esteemed jurists, Ahlul Kitab are not najis, and as for temporary marriage with a Kitabiyah woman, most Maraji' also deem it as halal.

And Allah knows best.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. They will be considered Shia.

May you always be successful 

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

No obedience is permissible in disobeying Allah (ALLAH). Shia woman must follow the true Islam of Ahlul Bayt (AS) and never give up any rule or faith from Ahlul Bayt (AS) to please any one including her husband. She must be firm in following the True Islam of Ahlul Bayt at any cost.

'Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 1 month ago

Yes it is permissible for husband's father to marry the mother-in-law of his son if she is widowed or divorced. Wife is Mahram for her father-in-law only not for his sons and husband is Mahram for his mother-in-law only not for her other daughters. This rule of being Mahram does not include the parents of the husband and wife. 
'Your mother-in-law must observe Hijab from your father but not from you. Obviously, when they are non-Mahram to each other, marriage between them is permissible.

Wassalam.

Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 month ago

It's fine as long as there is no secondary reason why they can't marry (for instance, they have a blood relationship that prevents it, etc.).

Anyway I think it is rather sweet. I hope they are all happy!